Winter Boys (First Time Gay Sports Romance)

By: Van Barrett

Chapter One

Kevin Westbrook didn't hear the knock. The light rapping at his dorm room door was drowned out by the warble of his jump-rope whistling through the air, and the rhythmic patter of his feet bouncing off the floor.

With eyes shut and breath focused, Kevin visualized the game. He saw himself racing towards the net with the puck on his stick. He heard the sound of his skates whisking across the ice with every powerful stride. He felt the nervous energy of the crowd, leaping out of their seats with an excited hum.

The goalie stood tall, trying to look confident and big in net. But behind that mask, in the goalie's eyes, Kevin spied a nervous twitch. He could always tell when he had the goalie beat before he'd even made a move. That fearful look in their eye always said it all. He dictated the action. The goalie was just a passenger. Along for the ride.

Kevin faked to his left, waited for the goalie to bite, and then went right instead. The goalie lunged into the splits, trying to throw his body back in the other direction to make the save. But Kevin had him beat. Pure, pristine, white twine was all he could see in front of him. All he had to do was shoo--

“Umm, hello!”

Kevin opened his eyes to see his girlfriend, Clara Morgan, standing right before him.

“Oh Clara! You scared me!” Kevin gasped.

“Sorry! I didn't mean to!”

He didn't stop jumping. Clara followed his big blue eyes, up and down, up and down, as he kept jumping. He had short sandy-blonde hair. The top was just long enough to have some bounce in it, and his bangs flopped up and down as he jumped.

“How'd you get in here?” he asked curtly.

She knew she'd disrupted his routine, spooked him even, and could tell it'd bothered him a little. Like a lot of athletes, Kevin was a man of habit, and disrupting his pre-game ritual was a big no-no. But she'd trekked across campus to Kevin's dorm with a purpose.

“I knocked but you didn't answer. So I just tried the doorknob. Guess you forgot to lock it.” Clara gave him a sassy look.

Kevin stopped jumping and bundled up his rope. He was shirtless and wore athletic shorts that barely reached to the middle of his toned thighs. Hockey thighs! Clara thought gleefully. One of the rather obvious perks of dating a hockey player.

“So what's up?” Kevin asked.

“Not much.” Clara rocked forward on her tip-toes, hoping Kevin would steal a glance down her tank-top. “I just wanted to see you before the game and make sure you're not nervous.”

“Nervous? About the game? Hell no!” Kevin laughed dismissively. “I've been getting amped for this game all week. Harvard – ugh, Harvard! As if it wasn't bad enough they're a bunch of snobs, then the fact that–”

“Nooo!” Clara groaned, playfully rolling her eyes. “I don't care if you're nervous about the game, I meant about meeting my parents after the game! Remember, after the game, they're taking us to dinner. They've already made reservations at this posh restaurant downtown that we're all very excited to try. And then tomorrow morning they're flying us back to Boston so we can spend Christmas with them. Then on Saturday, we're going to …” She trailed off, listing all the plans that had already been made.

Kevin stared at her, dumb-founded and overwhelmed. The flushed red color quickly drained from his face.

“Wow,” Clara chortled. “You look a lot less confident about spending time with my parents than you do playing hockey.”

“Well … I mean. Yeah. I guess that's true.”

“Goof. You have nothing to worry about.”

Clara couldn't help but lick her lips, staring at him. Kevin was a freshman – same as her – and despite his grueling athletic training, he still had a bit of a boy's body: lean and taut with long, supple muscles.

He ate a lot – constantly shoveling crazy amounts food into his mouth and counting all the protein and fats and carbs – but it never seemed to stick to his bones. It was kind of amazing, actually, that a guy could eat so much but somehow burn it all off. 'Course, as much as it made Clara jealous, it only bummed Kevin out – since all he wanted to do was bulk up and add muscle to his tall, broad-shouldered frame that promised he'd be a big, strong man someday.

Actually, that's exactly why he was playing in college and not in the NHL. The team that had drafted him – The Minnesota Rangers – made it quite clear that they wanted him to add at least 15 pounds of muscle to his frame before he could play in the pros. They'd told him that his lean build simply wouldn't hold up over the grueling grind of playing against men – no matter how fast or skilled he was.

So off he went to the University of Minnesota – to play college hockey for the Blazers and try to bulk up so he could make the switch to the pros as soon as he was ready.

Tiny beads of moisture glistened on Kevin's lean but sculpted chest. His torso was flushed, reddened, the way it looked after they made love. With that pleasant reminder, Clara couldn't help but be turned on by the sight. She prowled across the room, her fingers up like she just couldn't wait to dig in and grab a piece of him. Nom-nom-nom!

“Uh oh,” Kevin chuckled. He recognized that bedroom stare. But right now, it could only mean trouble.

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